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M-Fuge is Coming to University of the Cumberlands


Mountain Outreach, a service organization that builds houses and wheelchair ramps as well as making home repairs, is one of the University of the Cumberlands groups that will work with LifeWay’s M-Fuge camp beginning in 2010

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.—University of the Cumberlands has announced a new partnership between the University and LifeWay’s M-Fuge Student Summer Camp Ministries. Beginning in the summer of 2010, one of M-Fuge’s camps will take place on the Williamsburg campus.

M-Fuge, a mission camp for youth in grades 7-12, is designed to help the students put their faith into action. The camps train students, as well as the adults who accompany them, to share Christ’s love as they also develop skills necessary for leadership in ministry.

"We are extremely excited about our new partnership with University of the Cumberlands for 2010,” said Jeff Pratt of LifeWay Church Resources. €As director of Student ministry training and events, it is my desire to partner with colleges and universities that share a similar passion and desire for God's word as well as God's work. University of the Cumberlands is a place that fits the bill. They have an ongoing passion for teaching and preaching the truth of God's Word while being actively involved in ministry to their community.

“It is going to be great to partner with them as we bring M-Fuge to the campus. Our desire is to see students from all over the country spend five days in the Appalachian mountains learning about God's word and putting that into practice as they minister daily to the needs of the Appalachian area. Dr. Taylor and his staff have rolled out the red carpet for us and it makes such a difference when you know a campus wants you there. I believe this can become one of the greatest ministry sites that LifeWay Student Ministry has ever participated in. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with all of the wonderful people at University of the Cumberlands.”

While on Cumberlands’ campus, the M-Fuge campers will start their day with prayer and meditation and then go out into the community to work with the University’s service organizations.

University of the Cumberlands Assistant to the President for Church Relations Dr. Rick Fleenor, explains how M-Fuge will work with existing programs during the group’s stay on campus. €We plan to work with LifeWay’s program directors, in conjunction with leaders of our Mountain Outreach and Appalachian Ministries programs, and to also coordinate efforts with the needs of churches in the local South Union-Mount Zion Association. Since the association includes a large number of smaller churches, we are hopeful that the students involved in the M-Fuge camps will greatly be able to assist these churches.

“Students attending the M-Fuge camps at University of the Cumberlands will have the added benefit of staying in our residence halls and enjoying a variety of other campus facilities. This will give them some idea of what it might be like to be a student on our campus. This experience may result in some camp participants choosing to attend University of the Cumberlands because of our emphasis on servant leadership; because of an opportunity to continue their involvement in missions as a university student; or because they learned about our strong academic programs or enjoyed the beauty of our campus and the surrounding area.

“We believe that the partnership with M-Fuge has come at the right time, and the right place. It’s definitely a winning combination, and we believe that it will have a long term impact in terms of the lives that are changed.”

University of the Cumberlands is uniquely qualified as a partner with M-Fuge. The Corporation for National and Community Service honored University of the Cumberlands recently with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. This is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Overall, the Corporation listed 546 schools as Honor Roll members. However, only 82 others besides Cumberlands were named Honor Roll with Distinction, and UC is one of only three Kentucky schools to receive that honor.

The University’s president, Dr. Jim Taylor, expresses the significance of the endeavor that brings M-Fuge and Cumberlands together. €We are very pleased with the developing partnership between University of the Cumberlands and LifeWay’s M-Fuge Student Summer Camp Ministries. University of the Cumberlands has a long history of providing ministry to the surrounding area. Since 1975, students in our Appalachian Ministry Program have been ministering with area children through hosting Backyard Bible Clubs, assisting churches with Vacation Bible Schools and also doing weekly ministries during the academic year. In addition, over the past 25 years students and volunteer church groups working with our Mountain Outreach Program have built 129 homes for families who did not have adequate housing. Through Mountain Outreach, hundreds of individuals have been provided with wheelchair ramps and housing repairs and thousands have received donated clothing and household items. As a result, we think the partnership with LifeWay is a perfect fit.

“With M-Fuge camps beginning on campus in 2010, churches will have opportunities for ministry in an area of significant need. This means that young people will be exposed to the tremendous needs of the economically disadvantaged in our region and they will realize the need for ministry is as great and perhaps even greater here than some other regions of the world. It also means that there will be fewer people suffering with a leaky roof, or drafty windows. In turn, perhaps the load they carry as a result of their physical or social circumstances may be lightened and they will be able to see a glimmer of hope. The ultimate goal, of course, is that by having their physical needs met there might also be an opportunity to help meet their spiritual needs.”

First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention Dr. Bill Henard, a Cumberlands alumnus, said “I am excited about the partnership between UC and LifeWay’s M-Fuge. The Appalachians represent a large segment of our own state that is unreached and greatly impoverished. Students will receive hands-on mission opportunities that can impact them for the rest of their lives. Thank you LifeWay and UC for bringing M-Fuge to Kentucky.”